I have grown used to becoming a built-in excuse; I'm handy that way, especially as a roommate. Since I don't drive, it is very easy for me to invent emergencies to drag my no longer unsuspecting and naive friends away from a danger they had been oblivious to before.
After all, if I'm home alone and bleeding out of my head, I can't very well hop Trax up to the hospital. Too much of a safety hazard for other public transportation riders. I'm very considerate that way.
This is why, I've decided, it's in a girl's best interest to live with a couple of other girls. Or, at the very least, live close enough to a couple of other girls that they are around and have a stake in her lives. Good friends are the best sort of BS detectors.
Back in the day, I dated a jerk. A big jerk. But thought I deserved to be treated badly, because I was having self-esteem issues. It took several friends to break me out of my funk, but they were what did it: it wasn't my parents. It wasn't strangers. It was people who knew me well enough to know I didn't deserve what I was getting. I listened--eventually.
But as bad as jerks are, weirdos are far worse. Apologies to the elder from my cute former roommate's mission who came up with this analogy for not seeking him out to obtain his express approval, but it's a great analogy. So here goes (and bear in mind, this is a guy's analogy).
The majority of men are like gerbils and should be treated as such. And every girl dates around and associates with a lot of gerbils. After having dated a lot of gerbil gerbils, the gerbils send in a higher-echelon gerbil. Because he's less of a gerbil than all of the previous gerbils, the girl decides to mate for life with the higher-echelon gerbil . . . only to discover later that he is, after all, still a gerbil. The point, of course, is that girls shouldn't settle for any type of gerbil.
But sometimes it seems that gerbils are the only species of male left on the planet. And when girls get desperate enough, they begin to think even gerbils will do.
That is why everyone must have friends. Because friends are gerbil-smashers. Or better, gerbil-hope smashers. (I'm not by any means suggesting the best way to defeat the "gerbils" is to kill them. I would also suggest there are female gerbils, and the gerbils would probably do much better to mate with their own kind. Likeness factors, you know . . .)
So I would like to advocate: join your local gerbil watch!
It needn't be very many people, but it should involve a group of people you know well. Well enough that you can tell who is gerbil-ing them and who isn't. And then use your imagination to invent all sorts of emergencies you can perpetrate in order to help your friend escape from any potentially threatening situation.
Also, as my former roommate and I have done, I highly suggest a code word for any watch member who may find themselves face to face with a gerbil in a compromising situation.
Remember: friends don't let friends date gerbils.